Amos 1

Verse 32. Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord]

col asher yikra beshem Yehovah, "All who

shall invoke in the name of Jehovah." That CHRIST is the Jehovah

here mentioned appears plain from Ro 10:13-15, where the reader

had better consult the notes. "This refers," says Bp. Newcome, "to

the safety of the Christians during the Jewish and the Roman war."

It may: but it has a much more extensive meaning, as the use of it

by St. Paul, as above, evidently shows. Every man who invokes

Jehovah for mercy and salvation by or in the name, JESUS-that

very name given under heaven among men for this purpose-shall be

saved. Nor is there salvation in any other; and those who reject

him had better lay these things to heart before it be too late.

For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem] Our blessed Lord first began

to preach the Gospel in Mount Zion, in the temple, and throughout

Jerusalem. There he formed his Church, and thence he sent his

apostles and evangelists to every part of the globe: "Go ye into

all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature." Of the

Jews there was but a remnant, a very small number, that received

the doctrine of the Gospel, here termed the remnant that the Lord

should call; kore, whom he calleth. Many were called who would

not obey: but those who obeyed the call were saved; and still he

delivers those who call upon him; and he is still calling on men

to come to him that they may be saved.




Chronological Notes relative to this Book

-Year from the Creation, according to Archbishop Usher, 3217.

-Year of the Julian Period, 3927.

-Year since the Flood, 1561.

-Year from the foundation of Solomon's temple, 225.

-Year since the division of Solomon's monarchy into the kingdoms

of Israel and Judah, 188.

-Year since the first Olympic games were celebrated in Elis by

the Idaei Dactyli, 667.

-Year since the restoration of the Olympic games at Elis by

Lycurgus, Iphitus, and Cleosthenes, 97.

-Year before the conquest of Coroebus at Olympia, vulgarly

called the first Olympiad, 11.

-Year before the building of Rome, according to the Varronian

computation, 34.

-Year before the birth of Christ, 783.

-Year before the vulgar era of Christ's nativity, 787.

-Cycle of the Sun, 7.

-Cycle of the Moon, 13.

-Twenty-eighth and last year of Caranus, the founder of the

kingdom of Macedon.

-Twenty-third year of Nicander, king of Lacedaemon, of the

family of the Proclidae.

-Twenty-seventh year of Alcamenes, king of Lacedaemon, of the

family of the Eurysthenidae.

-Eleventh year of Ardysus, king of Lydia.

-Eleventh year of Agamestor, perpetual archon of the Athenians.

-Tenth year of Amulius Sylvius, king of the Albans.

-Fifth year of Telestus, monarch of Corinth.

-Sixth year of Sosarmus, king of the Medes, according to some


-Thirty-ninth year of Jeroboam II., king of Israel.

-Twenty-fourth year of Uzziah, king of Judah.


This chapter denounces judgments against the nations bordering

on Palestine, enemies to the Jews, viz., the Syrians, 1-5;

Philistines, 6-8;

Tyrians, 9, 10;

Edomites, 11, 12;

and Ammonites, 13-15.

The same judgments were predicted by other prophets, and

fulfilled, partly by the kings of Assyria, and partly by those

of Babylon; though, like many other prophecies, they had their

accomplishment by degrees, and at different periods. The

prophecy against the Syrians, whose capital was Damascus, was

fulfilled by Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria; see 2Ki 16:9.

The prophecy against Gaza of the Philistines was accomplished

by Hezekiah, 2Ki 18:8;

by Pharaoh, Jer 47:1;

and by Alexander the Great; see Quintius Curtius, lib. iv.

c. 6. The prophecy against Ashdod was fulfilled by Uzziah,

2Ch 26:6;

and that against Ashkelon by Pharaoh, Jer 47:5.

All Syria was also subdued by Pharaoh-necho; and again by

Nebuchadnezzar, who also took Tyre, as did afterwards

Alexander. Nebuchadnezzar also subdued the Edomites,

Jer 25:9, 21; 27:3, 6.

Judas Maccabeus routed the remains of them, 1Macc 5:3;

and Hyrcanus brought them under entire subjection. The

Ammonites were likewise conquered by Nebuchadnezzar. The

earthquake, which the prophet takes for his era, is perhaps

referred to in Zec 14:5,

and also in Isa 5:25.

Josephus ascribes it to Uzziah's invasion of the priestly

office; see 2Ch 26:16.


Verse 1. The words of Amos] This person and the father of

Isaiah, though named alike in our translation, were as different

in their names as in their persons. The father of Isaiah,

Amots; the prophet before us, Amos. The first, aleph,

mem, vau, tsaddi; the second, ain, mem, vau, samech. For some

account of this prophet see the introduction.

Among the herdmen] He seems to have been among the very lowest

orders of life, a herdsman, one who tended the flocks of others in

the open fields, and a gatherer of sycamore fruit. Of whatever

species this was, whether a kind of fig, it is evident that it was

wild fruit; and he probably collected it for his own subsistence,

or to dispose of either for the service of his employer, or to

increase his scanty wages.

Before the earthquake.] Probably the same as that referred to

Zec 14:5, if

haraash do not mean some popular tumult.

Verse 2. The Lord will roar from Zion] It is a pity that our

translators had not followed the hemistich form of the Hebrew:-

Jehovah from Zion shall roar,

And from Jerusalem shall give forth his voice;

And the pleasant dwellings of the shepherds shall mourn,

And the top of mount Carmel shall wither.

Carmel was a very fruitful mountain in the tribe of Judah,

Jos 15:56; Isa 35:2.

This introduction was natural in the mouth of a herdsman who was

familiar with the roaring of lions, the bellowing of bulls, and

the lowing of kine. The roaring of the lion in the forest is one

of the most terrific sounds in nature; when near, it strikes

terror into the heart of both man and beast.

Verse 3. For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four]

These expressions of three and four, so often repeated in this

chapter, mean repetition, abundance, and any thing that goes

towards excess. Very, very exceedingly; and so it was used among

the ancient Greek and Latin poets. See the passionate exclamation

of Ulysses, in the storm, Odyss., lib. v., ver. 306:-



"Thrice happy Greeks! and four times who were slain

In Atreus' cause, upon the Trojan plain."

Which words Virgil translates, and puts in the mouth of his hero

in similar circumstances, AEn. i. 93.

Extemplo AEneae solvuntur frigore membra:

Ingemit; et, duplicis tendens ad sidera palmas,

Talia voce refert: O terque quaterque beati!

Queis ante ora patrum Trojae sub moenibus altis

Contigit oppetere.

"Struck with unusual fright, the Trojan chief

With lifted hands and eyes invokes relief.

And thrice, and four times happy those, he cried,

That under Ilion's walls before their parents died."


On the words, O terque quaterque, SERVIUS makes this remark, "Hoc

est saepias; finitus numerous pro infinito." "O thrice and four

times, that is, very often, a finite number for an infinite."

Other poets use the same form of expression. So SENECA in

Hippolyt., Act. ii. 694.

O ter quaterque prospero fato dati,

Quos hausit, et peremit, et leto dedit

Odium dolusque!

"O thrice and four times happy were the men

Whom hate devoured, and fraud, hard pressing on,

Gave as a prey to death."

And so the ancient oracle quoted by Pausanias, Achaic., lib.

vii., c. 6: τριςμακαρεςκεινοικαιτετρακιςανδρεςεσνται; "Those

men shall be thrice and four times happy."

These quotations are sufficient to show that this form of speech

is neither unfrequent nor inelegant, being employed by the most

correct writers of antiquity.

Damascus was the capital of Syria.

Verse 4. Ben-hadad.] He was son and successor of Hazael. See the

cruelties which they exercised upon the Israelites,

2Ki 10:32; 13:7, &c., and see especially 2Ki 8:12, where these

cruelties are predicted.

The fire threatened here is the war so successfully carried on

against the Syrians by Jeroboam II., in which he took Damascus and

Hamath, and reconquered all the ancient possessions of Israel. See

2Ki 14:25, 26, 28.

Verse 5. The bar of Damascus] The gates, whose long traverse

bars, running from wall to wall, were their strength. I will throw

it open; and the gates were forced, and the city taken, as above.

The plain of Aven-the house of Eden] These are names, says

Bochart, of the valley of Damascus. The plain of Aven, or

Birkath-Aven, Calmet says, is a city of Syria, at present called

Baal-Bek, and by the Greeks Heliopolis; and is situated at the end

of that long valley which extends from south to north, between

Libanus and Anti-Libanus.

The people of Syria shall go into captivity unto Kir] KIR is

supposed to be the country of Cyrene in Albania, on the river

Cyrus, which empties itself into the Caspian Sea. The fulfilment

of this prophecy may be seen in 2Ki 16:1-9.

Verse 6. They carried away captive] Gaza is well known to have

been one of the five lordships of the Philistines; it lay on the

coast of the Mediterranean Sea, near to Egypt. Erkon, Ashdod, and

Askelon, were other signories of the same people, which are here

equally threatened with Gaza. The captivity mentioned here may

refer to inroads and incursions made by the Philistines in times

of peace. See 2Ch 21:16. The

margin reads, an entire captivity. They took all away; none of

them afterwards returned.

Verse 9. Tyrus] See an ample description of this place, and of

its desolation and final ruin, in the notes on Eze 26:1-28:19.

The brotherly covenant] This possibly refers to the very

friendly league made between Solomon and Hiram, king of Tyre,

1Ki 5:12; but some contend that the brotherly covenant refers

to the consanguinity between the Jews and Edomites. The Tyrians,

in exercising cruelties upon these, did it, in effect, on the

Jews, with whom they were connected by the most intimate ties of

kindred; the two people having descended from the two brothers,

Jacob and Esau. See Calmet.

Verse 10. I will send a fire on the wall of Tyrus] The

destructive fire or siege by Nebuchadnezzar, which lasted thirteen

years, and ended in the destruction of this ancient city; see on

Ezekiel, Eze 26:7-14, as above. It was finally ruined by

Alexander, and is now only a place for a few poor fishermen to

spread their nets upon.

Verse 11. For three transgressions of Edom] That the Edomites

(notwithstanding what Calmet observes above of the brotherly

covenant) were always implacable enemies of the Jews, is well

known; but most probably that which the prophet has in view was

the part they took in distressing the Jews when Jerusalem was

besieged, and finally taken, by the Chaldeans. See Ob 1:11-14;

Eze 25:12; 35:5; Ps 137:7.

Verse 12. Teman-Bozrah.] Principal cities of Idumea.

Verse 13. The children of Ammon] The country of the Ammonites

lay to the east of Jordan, in the neighbourhood of Gilead. Rabbah

was its capital.

Because they have ripped up] This refers to some barbarous

transaction well known in the time of this prophet, but of which

we have no distinct mention in the sacred historians.

Verse 14. With shouting in the day of battle] They shall be

totally subdued. This was done by Nebuchadnezzar. See

Jer 27:3, 6.

Verse 15. Their king shall go into captivity] Probably

malcham should be Milcom, who was a chief god of the Ammonites;

and the following words, he and his princes, may refer to the body

of his priesthood. See 1Ki 11:33, and the notes there. All these

countries were subdued by Nebuchadnezzar.

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